DESTINED TO BE HOLY
December 8, 2011
Today’s reading: Ephesians 1:3-12
Paul speaks a powerful truth in today’s reading. He says that God “chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him.” (Eph 1:4). We are a very special people. Our destiny is to truly live out what God has created us to be. We are created in the image and likeness of God. God is holy. We too are called to holiness. To be holy is to be without blemish, that is, to live pure.
So many people today are living beneath their dignity as children of God. Their image has been darkened and their souls blemished by sin. They have no clue as to their destiny in Christ. They are running around in the circles of their secular lives, rather than going on the straight path of salvation and to heaven.
How do we go on the path of living pure?
First, we need to repent of sin in our lives, and decide to turn away from a life of sin, to a life of virtue. This in itself is difficult, as we face the temptations of the world, the weakness of our flesh, and the attacks of the evil one. But what we cannot accomplish for ourselves, God had won for us through Jesus. “In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions” (Eph 1:7a). This is the good news of salvation in Jesus. We just need to accept what he has done for us, and accept him as our Savior and Lord.
Second, we need to know that having been saved by Jesus, we have also been reconciled to the Father. We are restored in our relationship as His children. God “destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will” (Eph 1:5). If we are children of God, if we are part of the family of God, if we are on our way to our eternal home in heaven, then we need to reflect that in our lives. We make ourselves fit and worthy to be such. We put on the garment of righteousness. We live pure.
In this regard, we need to know that again on our own we would not succeed, but now we can act confidently “in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.” (Eph 1:7b-8a). God has lavished his grace upon us! God provides what we need in order to live pure.
Third, we need to realize that as God’s creatures, servants and children, we “exist for the praise of his glory” (Eph 1:12a). We look to the awesome God who created everything and on whom everything depends. To God we owe worship. And though we are not worthy, God has invited us to come into His holy presence. Our part is to accept in humility and awe, and to try hard to cleanse ourselves of whatever blemishes us. If we are to enter into His throne room to give Him praise, we must begin to live pure.
Finally, having come into a right relationship with God, we need to see that God also intends to use us to bring many others to Himself. As a community God has made clear that we are to do the work of evangelization and mission. God wants all to experience salvation in Jesus. God “has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him, as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.” (Eph 1:9-10).
Now that is quite a task. Sinful people doing divine work. Continuing with the very work of the Savior. Helping accomplish the Father’s very own eternal plan. How can it happen? Well, God gives us “wisdom and insight” (Eph 1:8b) to realize that it is indeed a mystery, but that is what God intends. What we cannot accomplish on our own, He can. This is the reality: “In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will” (Eph 1:11). God does His part, and we just need to do ours. God needs fitting and worthy instrument. We can become such as we live pure.
What else can we say? We can only exclaim: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens” (Eph 1:3).
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